Law Week Colorado Highlights Sherman & Howard’s Tactical Defense in Client Employment Discrimination Case

DENVER, Colo. (December 17, 2021) – Law Week Colorado covered Sherman & Howard’s recent jury trial in Denver where American Truck Business Services (ATBS) was accused of violating Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. A former ATBS employee alleged the company failed to provide accommodation for his post-traumatic stress, retaliated against him for filing the claim, and accused two of the company’s executives for aiding and abetting in the discrimination. While the first two claims were easy to have dismissed as the employee had falsified his resume and was a serial litigator, the third presented novel legal issues due to the substantial lack of case law on these types of cases. However, Sherman & Howard’s attorneys, Heather Fox Vickles and Amy Knapp, found a similar case, Judson v. Walgreen, in which the federal court found that a corporate representative can’t aid and abet their own employer if they’re acting within the scope of their employment. Therefore, their argument was that these executives can’t aid and abet their own company because that, essentially, is tantamount to saying the company aided and abetted itself. The state court was convinced by the argument and dismissed the claims against the executives.

Vickles said there are two major lessons employers can learn from the case. The first is the importance of seeking legal advice early on. “Long before the charge and the litigation, [ATBS] had already been talking to their lawyers about managing the situation properly,” she said. This early intervention “really protected them down the road,” Vickles added. The second lesson that can be learned is the importance of verifying the history of potential new employees. One small step of verifying prior employers and dates of employment can alert a company to dishonesty and eliminate potential issues before they occur.

Read the full article about the details behind their jury win in Law Week Colorado.